Weight Watchers for Teen Girls?

Categories:Health Coaching, Parent Education

“Weight Watchers for teen girls” is a concept that needs significant consideration before providing it as a weight loss solution for adolescents. The teen years are a formidable time in a girl’s life when she is cultivating ideas about her body, establishing eating habits that are carried into the college years, and trying to define herself.  Giving girls the tools to develop into their best selves and establish a solid foundation of healthy behaviors is essential to raising a well balanced teen that grows into a fit adult.  Focusing on healthy habits rather than the number on the scale is essential and requires a program that is made specifically for teens.  Teens are not mini-adults, so when addressing a topic as important as weight, finding a solution designed for teens is crucial to their overall health.

There are countless weight solutions out there and it’s beneficial to know which ones are going to help improve teen girl’s health, rather than hinder it.  Is it Weight Watchers for teen girls, or MyFitness Pal, or Jenny Craig? Teen girls who are turning to food to feel comforted often find themselves in a negative feedback loop: they eat to feel better, then they look in the mirror or compare themselves to a peer or a model in a magazine, they feel bad, then eat again to distract themselves from their pain or to feel instant gratification.  This all too common cycle has a straight forward solution: health coaching with coaches trained specifically to work with teens.

Kurbo uses an easy to understand stoplight system to categorize foods based on 30 years of research at Stanford.  The classification system is designed specifically for teens so that their nutrition needs are met, they learn to modify their behavior around calorie dense foods, and never succumb to the neuroses of counting calories.

Learn more about the Kurbo stoplight system in the video below:

Kurbo uses a behavior modification and an accountability program much like Weight Watchers; the difference is that Kurbo’s coaches are experienced to work with teens and the evidence based curriculum is suited for adolescents with an 88% success rate.

Key Differences between Kurbo and Weight Watchers:

1. Teens need flexibility. We teach teens how to manage the spontaneity of indulgent days while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Coaches examine what teens are eating in an overall week so that they can budget appropriately. Weight Watchers allows a certain number of points per day not taking into account if they are going to a party or a friend’s house.

2. Public weigh-ins are embarrassing for teens. If we want teens to associate healthy living as a positive experience, then we need to provide them with a fun and engaging time. Teens who work with Kurbo coaches repeatedly report that they look forward to their one-on-one meeting with their coach. Weight Watchers’ proclamation that “The heart of our brand — people sharing and supporting each other through experiences”, is a concept that does not work for teens who need to feel a sense of privacy and shelter from discussing their shame about weight in public.

3. Teens are over committed and need to be met where they are at.  Kurbo’s one-on-one approach keeps meetings to 10-20 min a week. Unlike Weight Watcher’s one-on-one coaching program which is conducted over the phone or email, Kurbo’s health coaching professionals meet with teens over FaceTime or Skype allowing teens to be anywhere and feel a greater sense of connection and support through digital technology.

4. Teens need responsible non-parental figures in their life.  Dr. Dan Siegel’s research on the teenage brain indicates that to raise a responsible and healthy adult requires that a teen needs to become independent of their parents but at the same time requires adults in their lives for guidance. Kurbo coaches are specifically screened for their experience working with teens which enables the exact relationship that Dr. Siegel’s research indicates is beneficial for a healthy adolescent.  Again, while the Weight Watcher’s personal coaches and group model is great for many adults, it does not foster the same type of relationship that a teen needs for optimal growth.


Kurbo provides the first mobile-based health coaching and weight management program for kids, teens, and their families. See whether Kurbo is right for your child, try a Kurbo coaching plan for free today!

Arielle Adelman, ACC

Coach Arielle is dedicated to laughter, cooking, travel, exercise, dancing, and meditation. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Arielle studied Mindfulness at the Center for Mind Body Medicine. Arielle has since developed a program, Mind Body Baking, that teaches kids & teens how to mindfully prepare and eat healthier versions of red light foods. Arielle is an ICF certified life coach working full-time at Kurbo as a master coach and head of coach development. She is also working on her Ph.D in Mind Body Medicine at Saybrook University.

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